15
votes
11answers
5k views

How should we dress when attending church? [closed]

What are some verses from the Bible which instructs us on our attire when attending church worship services and activies? Is "formal" dress good / bad / required / optional / recommended?
14
votes
4answers
8k views

What is the difference between Reformed and Presbyterian

I feel like this is a dumb question, but maybe, just maybe, I'm not the only one confused by this. Maybe if I'm willing to stick my neck out and look stupid, the answer will be here for those poor ...
14
votes
4answers
3k views

Are silent prayers heard?

Growing up in the church, silent prayers are pretty much part of how I pray. However, challenging assumptions, I'm curious to know how biblical this is. Every prayer I read about in the Bible is ...
14
votes
1answer
569 views

What is the difference between the doctrines of “Perseverance of the Saints” and “Eternal Security?”

The terms "Perseverance of the Saints," "Eternal Security," and the phrase "once saved, always saved" are a bit fuzzy in my head. I understand the general concept behind them, but what are the ...
14
votes
6answers
9k views

Why is the number three special?

What is the significance to the number 3 in the Bible? There is already a question about the number seven, but no one said anything about 3. Here are a few 3's I came up with: The Trinity (Godhead) ...
14
votes
4answers
486 views

How did Cain and Abel know to offer sacrifices before the Law of Moses?

Genesis 4 has always bothered me. The story of God accepting Abel's sacrifice and not Cain's has led me to wonder: How did they even know to sacrifice? Was this practice started by Adam? Or did God ...
13
votes
2answers
794 views

How is “Veneration” similar or different from “Adoration”?

Most Catholics teach about honoring the saints, and mostly about "venerating" the Blessed Virgin Mary. Though in my country (I'm from the Philippines), the line between honoring saints / Mary and the ...
12
votes
1answer
157 views

What is the nature of the theory for Pope Joan and the evidence that substantiates it?

Two films, each called Pope Joan one in 1972 and one in 2009 repeat an old legend about a female Pope. What is the nature of this theory, and is there anything to substantiate it?
12
votes
3answers
3k views

Is Partialism a real heresy?

This YouTube video identifies Partialism as a heresy. It states that Partialism is the heresy wherein The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are each described as 1/3 of God. To me, it's a vaguely familiar ...
12
votes
1answer
607 views

What is the basis of the argument that asserts that Open Theism is heretical?

John Piper has said that open theism (i.e. the notion that God himself changes over time and can choose to be ignorant of His own future if He so chooses) "is an attack, however unwittingly, on the ...
12
votes
4answers
2k views

How is one supposed to “know” whether or not the Book of Mormon is true?

When one is introduced to the Book of Mormon, he is oftentimes asked to pray to find out whether or not the Book of Mormon is true. According to LDS theology, why is a person simply asked to pray ...
12
votes
5answers
639 views

Ancient nations in a young earth

How do "Biblical literalists" and other Young Earth Creationists account for the fact that some cultures have been continuously measuring the years for almost five millenia?
12
votes
4answers
416 views

Is the age of the earth in the Bible?

Early scientists thought that the age of the earth is proven by the genealogical tables in the book of Mathew, Mark, Luke, and John. Other than this observation, is there any reference to the direct ...
12
votes
8answers
8k views

Did Satan really not understand God's salvation plan? [closed]

I've always been told that when Jesus died on the cross, he ultimately defeated Satan and won victory over death. Satan was not aware of the secret plan and thought that he had defeated Jesus until ...
12
votes
4answers
809 views

Why is Adam considered the original sinner?

In the Biblical account, Eve is the first to eat the forbidden fruit. Yet still the blame gets put on Adam and later on in the Bible it states that sin entered the world through one man. Why is Adam ...
11
votes
2answers
553 views

Do Pope Francis' recent comments on atheism represent a change in doctrine?

Pope Francis made some recent comments in a letter, which are being summarized in headlines like, "Pope Francis tells atheists to abide by their own consciences." Does the full context of the ...
11
votes
3answers
532 views

What is the “Kingdom of God” supposed to be?

everlasting blissful happiness and peace on earth heaven after death / afterlife a metaphorical way to describe that righteousness would be made on earth by the power of the holy spirit, and that ...
11
votes
3answers
506 views

Why are Mormon Temples Ceremonies kept secret from non-Mormons?

Even though only priests were allowed into the Temple in the Old Testament, all of the ceremonies and furnishings were described in great detail in the Old Testament for anyone, Jew or Gentile alike, ...
11
votes
4answers
2k views

What would happen to somebody voting in opposition to a proposition at LDS General Conference?

I'm watching the semi-annual LDS General Conference. One segment just went by that was some general business of voting to retain people in various roles or assign new ones. Several thousand people are ...
11
votes
5answers
2k views

How does 1 John 2:19 fit with the teaching that Christians can lose their salvation

A common belief (not my own, but fairly common) is that believers may lose or abandon their salvation. A number of Bible verses seem to contradict this teaching, but in particular, 1 John 2:19 stands ...
11
votes
3answers
6k views

What is the difference between “infallible” and “inerrant”?

As with many others I know, I believe in both the infallibility and inerrancy of the Bible. But what is the difference between these two important terms? If something has no errors (inerrant), then ...
11
votes
1answer
399 views

What's the difference between judging God and questioning God?

In my answer to Can man judge whether God is fair?, I gave an example of the prophet Habakkuk questioning God in a judgmental way. God dealt with Habakkuk patiently, answering his questions. On the ...
11
votes
1answer
3k views

What is “intercession” and what kinds of “intercessory prayer” are there?

Different traditions seem to have different ideas about intercession. What are the major different types of "intercessory prayer" and which traditions employ them? If applicable to the definition, ...
11
votes
1answer
991 views

What is the origin of Zoe (ζωή) vs Psyche (ψυχή) life in St. John?

It seems in John's gospel and and in other letters by John, there is a big theological emphasis on the difference between (in the Greek) ζωή "Zoe" life and ψυχή "Psyche" life. John 12:25 (NIV) ...
10
votes
2answers
264 views

Is the Eastern Orthodox Church independent from regional governments?

I have heard that interference from Moscow has been the cause of some dissent and even a schism within the Russian Orthodox Church in America. I think the very existence of the Russian Orthodox ...
10
votes
3answers
13k views

What does INRI stand for?

On the crucifix there is sometimes a plate above Jesus' head that has the letters INRI. What does INRI mean or stand for? Why is it there?
10
votes
1answer
593 views

Has the Catholic church ever voiced its view on the possibility of aliens' existence?

Has the Catholic church ever acknowledged such a possibility as not contradicting the Bible? Or has it once said that the whole idea of aliens is absolutely non-Biblical as the humans are the center ...
10
votes
3answers
665 views

Why do Baptists believe in the autonomy of local congregations?

Why do Baptists reject the idea of a central authority and instead place authority in the local congregations? Does this have a biblical basis or is it a result of past conflict with authority ...
10
votes
3answers
15k views

What is so special about sitting at God's “right hand”?

This concept seems to show up in a few places: Psalms 110:1 (NIV) The LORD says to my lord: “Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet.” ...
10
votes
1answer
222 views

Christian response(s) to disaster survival, or Christian self-defense

Every year, "end times" and apocalyptic films, books, and articles are produced in both the wider popular culture, and in religious contexts. In almost every post-disaster scenario as typically ...
10
votes
6answers
2k views

Why do many Protestant congregations not require attendance at services on Christmas and Easter?

It came to my attention from living, driving around and listening to Christian radio that many Protestants do not have any services on what Catholics would consider solemnities (Christmas and Easter ...
9
votes
2answers
218 views

What's the basic premise behind “restorationist” movements?

To the untrained ear, the labels used in Christian circles for some groups of churches as either "reformational" or "restorationist" don't seem that different. If the label "reformed" is a direct ...
9
votes
2answers
313 views

Is the idea that God can erase His memory a common understanding?

While listening to the local Christian radio station on the way home, Jon Courson touched on Hebrews 8:12 For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more. (NIV) Jon ...
9
votes
5answers
9k views

What is the difference between being filled by the Holy Spirit and being indwelt by the Holy Spirit?

The book of Acts talks about people "being filled" with the Holy Spirit at various times. There is also the concept of being indwelt by the Holy Spirit. From the perspective that asserts these are, ...
9
votes
8answers
26k views

Why is it hard for a rich man to go to heaven?

Jesus said that it was easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to go to heaven. Why would this be? Does this mean that it will be hard for e.g. Warren Buffett to go ...
9
votes
3answers
2k views

Are there any atheists in the Bible?

Do any people in the Bible self identify as atheists? Or are they all theists, differing in which god they follow? Apparently at least some atheists existed, since David had heard of them: The ...
9
votes
2answers
781 views

What is the theological import behind genealogies?

So, several places in the bible are just lists of names: Genesis 5 I Chronicles 1 - 10 Matthew 1 Luke 3 all come to mind. In Matthew 1, in particular, I have pulled sermons out of the only four ...
9
votes
6answers
17k views

What do Southern Baptists believe about Predestination?

It seems that some doctrines and beliefs are not taught openly. I was curious, what is the Southern Baptist doctrine regarding predestination? Do they believe in unconditional election or complete ...
9
votes
2answers
705 views

What is the biblical basis for and against the “filioque”? [closed]

In order to contextualize the question I add the following quote from the wikipedia article concerning Filioque clause: Filioque, Latin for "and (from) the Son", is a phrase found in the form of ...
9
votes
5answers
1k views

What is the practical application of the story of the woman caught in adultery? [closed]

John 8:2-11 tells us the story of the woman caught in adultery: 2At dawn [Jesus] appeared again in the temple courts, where all the people gathered around him, and he sat down to teach them. 3The ...
9
votes
4answers
671 views

Does it matter which day I celebrate Sabbath / Lord's day on? [closed]

Inspired by this question: What qualifies as work on Sunday? I know some churches are very specific that we should commit one weekday to the Lord (Saturday or Sunday). Much like Jews celebrate the ...
9
votes
3answers
382 views

Should Mark 16:9-20 be in the Bible?

The ending of the Gospel of Mark is a disputed passage, because different manuscripts have a different ending: Some end at Mark 16:8 Some include Mark 16:9-20, like most Bible translations Some ...
8
votes
1answer
276 views

Is Aquinas' idea of 'Beatific Vision' widely accepted today?

Thomas Aquinas defined the beatific vision as the human being's "final end" in which one attains to a perfect happiness. Aquinas reasons that one is perfectly happy only when all one's desires are ...
8
votes
4answers
7k views

Did Jesus visit India?

Some traditions state that Jesus visited India between the ages of 12 and 33, in order to study and learn. What evidence is there that he did or did not visit India?
8
votes
5answers
3k views

Do we answer the arguments of fools or not? How are Proverbs 26:4-5 to be understood?

Proverbs 26:4-5 (NLT) 4 Don’t answer the foolish arguments of fools,       or you will become as foolish as they are. 5 Be sure to answer the foolish arguments of ...
8
votes
3answers
406 views

Are other religions treated differently by any major branch of Christianity?

In Judaism, some religions are considered to be Avodah Zarah, and others are not. So, for example, if Christianity or certain of its denominations is Avodah Zarah, that has implications for Jews' ...
8
votes
4answers
4k views

Do Fetuses have souls? Is the aquisition of a soul instantenous or continuous? [closed]

Christian fundamentalists argue against abortion on the grounds that fetuses have souls. The argument starts with two premises: that people have souls while animals do not, and that the right to life ...
8
votes
1answer
225 views

Do the LDS believe in the Hypostatic Union?

Well, this may seem like a dumb question, but a lot of heads have been knocked around over what is meant by the "Divinity of Christ". To a Catholic, I don't think one can have the Divinity of Christ ...
8
votes
4answers
501 views

Why is the KJV frequently said to be the “true” translation?

This question actually centers on the KJV translation itself. It's not hard to find a church in America (particularly in the south) where they believe that the KJV is the one true translation and that ...
8
votes
8answers
3k views

What's the point of the second commandment?

If the first commandment, "Thou shalt have no other gods before me" means that God, and God alone is to be worshipped, why do we have the Second Commandment? Aren't idols covered in the First ...

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